LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – There were three doubleheaders on Thursday night, and one game from each series was decided by a single run. There have now been over 25 one run games already this season, so the standings don’t paint the full picture of how tight things currently are. In order to make the playoffs, teams will have to find ways to win these tight games. The Stone Men currently sit at the bottom of the standings, but they’ve lost six games by only one run, so if they start winning those games during the second half of the season, then it could come down to the final week.
The first series of the night was between the Stone Men and Calicos. The Calicos put eight runners on base during regulation, but they couldn’t push a single run across against the Stone Men pitching tandem of Levi Lawrence and Dylan Martin. James Stein was also able to shut the Stone Men out, but he only allowed one baserunner, a single from Sesai Sesaee with two outs in the fifth inning that broke up Stein’s bid for a perfect game. In the lone extra inning, the Calicos put up four runs after getting Martin to walk out of the game, and Stein would set the Stone Men down in order in the bottom of the inning, ending the game with 12 strikeouts. In game two it was more of the same from Stein, as he struck out 10 while allowing just three baserunners. After the game he said, “In game two I came out throwing a little bit sharper, so I tried to pitch two different games.” The Calicos were able to push across an unearned run against Lawrence in the bottom of the fourth inning to squeak out the 1-0 win, sweeping the Stone Men.
The Ones and Tomahawks faced off in the second doubleheader of the night. In the first game The Ones put up seven runs in the third inning thanks to home runs from Joel Gutierrez and Ryan Chen. Chen would hit another homer in the fifth, and Ray Guerrero would get in on the action, hitting an opposite field shot. They would go on to win 10-4. “It’s what they do. They hit the crap out of the ball.” said Tomahawks ace Billy Osgood after the game. Osgood was able to stifle The Ones lineup in game two, but Ones ace Cody Schmidt was dialed in as well. Schmidt struck out 13 over five innings, but Nick Sansone went 4-5 with two singles, two doubles, and two RBI to carry the Tomahawks offense. Chen hit his third home run of the night in the fourth inning to bring his team within one, but Osgood retired the next four batters to close out the 3-2 win. “I’m feeling it today!” remarked Chen after his three homer performance.
The final series of the night was between the Bombers and Snappers. In game one Taylor Bryner hit the first pitch of the game about 125 feet right down the line, and it stayed just fair for a leadoff home run. “He floated it high and inside, and that’s absolutely my wheelhouse. I don’t think he expected me to swing at it.” said Bryner after the game. Peter Mocabee would settle in after that, and didn’t allow another run over the next 3⅓ innings before walking out in the fourth. Jim Dodos came in relief to get the final five outs, and after pushing across five unearned runs, the Bombers got the 5-1 win. In game two the Bombers gave the ball to their ace Brandon Maio, and Bryner shared pitching duties with Shane Weber for the Snappers. In the bottom of the second inning Bryner hit an RBI double off of Maio to put the Snappers on the board, but Hollis Hale hit an RBI double of his own in the top of the third to tie the game. Snappers rookie Jonathan Wilson hit a double to lead off the bottom of the inning, and with two outs Jelani Allen drove him in with a single. The Snappers would hold on to get the 2-1 win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
The PLW week four Player of the Week award goes to James Stein. Stein pitched two complete game shutouts, and allowed just four baserunners over 11 innings. He also struck out over half of the batters he faced, and held opposing batters to a .083 batting average during the fourth week of play.
The next Premier League Wiffle® action will be tonight, Monday, March 8th. The Ones and Sandvipers have a doubleheader to start the night, followed by a three game series between the Warbirds and Tomahawks. The night will conclude with a doubleheader between the Calicos and Snappers. Tune in LIVE on Twitch!